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The Process Begins

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Yesterday, the Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee combined efforts again to start the process of replacing the position left vacant by retiring Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves. They formalized themselves as the search committee in order to provide their consultant, Mary Broderick, with another focus group. Broderick had already talked to the administrators, mostly Principals, earlier in the day. They decided that they needed to gather the most information possible before deciding on the nature of the administrative position; other focus groups for the staff and the public will follow.

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Searching

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

The Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee combined efforts to interview a search consultant this week to replace retired Assistant Superintendent Dianne Goncalves. The consultant, Mary Broderick from Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), answered many questions about the process. She suggested that the decision on what kind of job to fill should be done in January, followed by 90-120 days of searching for candidates. She expects to conduct meetings with various groups of stakeholders in order to establish a leadership profile. The seven Principals of the region’s schools were of particular interest because much of the extra workload has fallen to them.

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Region 1 Search

The Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chair (ABC) Committee are beginning their search to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Diane Goncalves, Assistant Superintendent. The Board, with the full support of the ABC Committee, unanimously selected the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Search Services to assist them in analyzing the optimal position description, gather input from the community, and then conduct the search for a new administrator.

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Fill a Job

Region 1 Board Member Jonathan Moore

Region 1 Board Member Jonathan Moore

On Friday afternoon, the Region 1 Board of Education met with the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee to discuss the now vacated position of Assistant Superintendent. Board member Jonathan Moore came prepared with a proposal to hire a professional consultant to evaluate the position and conduct an applicant search. The proposal, written by Dr. Mary Broderick from the CABE Search Services, would cost between $10,000 and $14,000. (CABE is the support group in Connecticut for all Boards of Education.) The combined group had a short discussion and decided to invite Broderick to describe the process. They expected the consultant to take input from all the stakeholders in the region. Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain was not present. No mention was made of finding an interim to fill the position in the meantime.

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Over Their Heads

Andy Brockway, Robotics team mentor

Andy Brockway, Robotics team mentor

At their regular meeting this week, the Region 1 Board of Education spent a significant amount of time with presentations on high school and regional functions. Andy Brockway, the wonderful mentor of the robotics program, gave a detailed description of their events and funding. And Carl Gross, the Director of Pupil Services, introduced two teachers who described the use of assistive technology for disabled students. And then the business meeting started. After a short discussion, they decided to look at the job description for the Assistant Superintendent by getting input from everyone but the other six Boards of Education. They passed a revamped policy on hazing, bullying, and teen dating violence and did a first review of their personnel policy. Despite declining enrollment, they hired a new teacher for the interventionist position. And they ratified a new contract with the teacher’s union that calls for a 3% increase in salaries, and instituted the first healthcare copays.

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Temper Tantrum

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This week, the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee met to discuss joint agreements between all seven Boards of Education in Region 1. They hammered again at the joint agreement for the employment of the Superintendent of Schools, ruminating over the apportionment of costs. They took a first reading of a draft for the joint agreement for shared services. And they were given the first pass of the 2015-2016 budget for the Regional Services Center (RSSC) by Business Manager Sam Herrick. But, at the beginning of the meeting, Lou Timolat, a Board of Finance member from Falls Village, harangued the committee about their work on the joint agreements and threatened litigation.

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The Peaked Roof

Credit: Kent Historical Society

Credit: Kent Historical Society

Until 1955, Kent Center School was a two story brick building with a peaked roof. That year, during expansion, the school burnt down. The oldest section was replaced with a flat roof; the first wing was added. Last night, the Kent Board of Education discussed renovating that oldest part of the school. They placed $850,000 in the long term capital plan for 2021. During the meeting, they also appointed Jonathan Moore as their representative to the Region 1 Board of Education for another two year term. They approved a new policy allowing Board members to attend meetings electronically is necessary. And Principal Florence Budge noted that the east entrance by the library would be used for future meetings; the main entrance will remain locked.

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Kent Center School Scholars 2014

Robby Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Beatrice Voorhees, Alexander Sanchez, CJ Brito-Trinidad, Sammy Starr, Bella Dumitrascu, Alyssa Holback, Sarah Mauri, Samuel Foote, Jacob Hoadley, Jason Lambert, Noah Strid, Hayden Giampietro, Charlotte Herde, Josie Horosky, Maddy Stevens

Robby Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Beatrice Voorhees, Alexander Sanchez, CJ Brito-Trinidad, Sammy Starr, Bella Dumitrascu, Alyssa Holback, Sarah Mauri, Samuel Foote, Jacob Hoadley, Jason Lambert, Noah Strid, Hayden Giampietro, Charlotte Herde, Josie Horosky, Maddy Stevens

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Early Retirement

Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves

Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves

The final settlement of the Region 1 Board of Education with Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves is now public. The Board had voted to offer early retirement last week. They bought out one year of the two years left on her contract. They also provided her with three years of medical benefits. Further, the insurance company for the Board paid her $30,000, presumably to defray legal costs. For her part, Goncalves took the early retirement as of June 31, 2015 and ceased working as of October 31, 2014. She also withdrew all legal actions against the Board, and its former member Gale Toensing. All parties agreed to refrain from any further action on the matter.

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Classic Entrapment

Region 1 Board member Ned Gow

Region 1 Board member Ned Gow

On Monday evening, the Region 1 Board of Education held a lengthy meeting without much actual business. They heard about student trips to international locations, either by planned trips or AFS. Board member Phil Hart warned the group that the Building and Grounds committee had identified several issues with the high school building, but that plans had not been developed yet. They had a short discussion on the new regional agreement for the Superintendent as laid out in the ABC Committee. Housatonic Principal Jose Martinez agreed to start a common scholarship application through the guidance department. And Secretary Julie Lang, who is also President of the local non-certified union, gave a short speech on the upcoming negotiations.

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